A historic chapel has been bought by a mystery buyer.

Tyldesley Top Chapel failed to sell at auction last month when the Grade II listed building owner Cadence Festivals Limited wanted over £127,500.

Now Pugh Auctions says the 228-year-old building in Upper George Street has sold. The buyer’s name has not been revealed. Peter Tyldesley, of the Tyldesley Building Preservation Trust, said: “We hope the purchaser is prepared to take on the necessary remedial work with the initial costs likely to be close to £300,000.”

“The valuation we had done showed that Tyldesley Top Chapel has a long backlog of outstanding repairs and some significant faults with structural movement in the west, east and south walls, dry rot and displaced roof timbers.”

The land on which the chapel was built is a former burial site.

Peter, a lecturer at the University of Exeter, says extensive research he has undertaken leads him to believe that ‘around 1,700 bodies’ are still buried in the chapel’s yard.

He said: “It is obviously vital these remains are protected and treated with respect.”

The chapel, which was built in 1789, was bought by Cadence Cafe CIC for £50,000 in September 2015 after being awarded £188,200 by Wigan Council’s Deal for Communities Investment Fund to enable it to be used as a multi-purpose community facility.

The building’s ownership was controversially transferred to Cadence Festivals Limited just eight months later, enabling it to be sold as a commercial property.

Cadence Festivals Limited has since considered plans to convert the chapel into a restaurant and flats.

The Tyldesley Building Preservation Trust was set up by Peter and Tyldesley councillors Joanne Marshall, Stephen Hellier and Nazia Rehman.

The Journal has not been able to contact Cadence Festivals Limited.